Giving Compass' Take:

• Aaron Cantú reports that schools are struggling to address the needs of the increasing population of Latinx students attending postsecondary education. Latinx students are getting less from the education than their white peers. 

• How can funders best work to ensure that all students get the support they need to succeed in and beyond university? 

• Learn more about the growth of Latinx students participating in higher education

Latinx are half as likely as non-Hispanic whites to hold a bachelor’s degree, and the gulf has widened since the early 2000s.

Experts say part of the reason so few Latinx students finish college is that they are ending up at overcrowded, underfunded community colleges as well as less-selective universities like IU Northwest. With Latinx expected to make up 28.6 percent of the U.S. population by 2060, and well-paying jobs dwindling for workers who don’t hold bachelor’s degrees, pressure is rising on schools like IU Northwest to tailor their services to help more of these students to and through college.

For decades, in this section of northwest Indiana, the path to the middle class didn’t necessarily route through institutions like IU Northwest. The steel mills where Perez’s father worked paid good wages to people straight out of high school.

But the loss of many blue-collar jobs since the 1990s and the growth of the Latinx population in this outer ring of metropolitan Chicago have combined to boost Latinx enrollment at the university. From 2008 to 2017, the share of Latinx students at this commuter school of roughly 4,000 rose from 13 percent to 22 percent — the highest of any public university in the state.

Across the country, many universities are seeing similar increases. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of Latinx college students more than doubled, to 3 million. Their share of overall college enrollment rose between 1996 and 2016 from 8 to 19 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In response, some universities are starting to cater to their growing Latinx populations. They’re adding more faculty who reflect the school’s increasing diversity, introducing cultural programming and establishing counseling and mentoring programs to help Latinx students overcome stubborn academic resource gaps.

Read the full article about growing Latinx populations at universities by Aaron Cantú at The Hechinger Report.